Baseball notebook

Pettitte got call to D.C.

He's asked about Clemens

Associated Press / February 18, 2009
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Federal prosecutors have interviewed Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte as they investigate whether his former teammate Roger Clemens lied to Congress when he denied using performance-enhancing drugs.

Two people familiar with the case told The Associated Press yesterday that Pettitte was in Washington last week to meet with prosecutors.

Pettitte could be a crucial witness for any case against Clemens. The two trained together for years. Pettitte has acknowledged taking human growth hormone and told congressional investigators that Clemens informed him nearly a decade ago that he used HGH.

Prosecutors are weighing whether to bring perjury charges against Clemens for denying under oath to Congress that he took performance-enhancing substances.

"I can't talk to you about that," Pettitte said when asked about the meeting yesterday.

Tejada issues apology
While Alex Rodriguez was addressing his use of performance-enhancing drugs in front of a national media contingent yesterday, Miguel Tejada made a quiet apology to his teammates at the Houston Astros' training camp.

It's the first time Tejada faced his teammates since he pleaded guilty in federal court last week to lying to congressional investigators in 2005 when they asked if he had conversations with players about performance-enhancing drugs.

"It's part of this country. It's part of my life," Tejada said. "I apologized to my family, I apologized to everyone around me in baseball. Today I stood up and apologized to the entire team."

All the steroid talk is apparently getting on the nerves of commissioner Bud Selig.

"I don't want to hear the commissioner turned a blind eye to this or he didn't care about it," Selig told Newsday. "That annoys the you-know-what out of me. You bet I'm sensitive to the criticism.

"The reason I'm so frustrated is, if you look at our whole body of work, I think we've come farther than anyone ever dreamed possible," he said. "I honestly don't know how anyone could have done more than we've already done."

Braves close in on Griffey
The Atlanta Braves tried to close a deal with Ken Griffey Jr., hoping the aging slugger who ranks fifth on baseball's career homer list can bolster an outfield that produced the fewest long balls in the majors last season. Griffey, 39, is clearly past his prime, but his 2008 numbers - a .249 average, 18 homers and 71 RBIs - were more productive than any of Atlanta's outfielders. Griffey had narrowed his search for a new home to Seattle, where he starred from 1989-99, and the Braves, a team his father played for in the 1980s . . . Reliever Eric Gagne and the Milwaukee Brewers agreed to a minor league contract with an invitation to major league camp. Gagne would receive $1.5 million if he's added to the major league roster and can earn an additional $3 million in performance bonuses. The Brewers also announced they had reached agreement on a one-year contract with right fielder Corey Hart . . . Outfielder Nate McLouth reached an agreement with the Pittsburgh Pirates on a $15.75 million, three-year contract that includes a team option for 2012 . . . Outfielder Andre Ethier agreed to a $3.1 million, one-year deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers . . . The Cincinnati Reds and Edwin Encarnacion agreed to a two-year contract that will pay the third baseman at least $7.6 million through the 2010 season.

Marlins' Gonzalez gets extension
Shortly before the first full-squad workout of spring training, the Marlins announced an extension for manager Fredi Gonzalez through the 2011 season . . . Lefthander Scott Kazmir will not pitch for the United States in the World Baseball Classic because the Tampa Bay Rays were concerned about the risk of injury. The Rays also announced the signing of second baseman Adam Kennedy to a minor league contract . . . Twins lefthander Francisco Liriano, who struggled much of last season recovering from Tommy John surgery, said he will not play for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic.

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